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WCCC to give 3 percent pay hikes

Westmoreland County Community College trustees on Wednesday approved a $38.9 million preliminary 2012-13 budget that includes 3-percent raises for administrators and other employees.

The budget is 1.7 percent less than the spending plan for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and absorbs a $500,000 cut from Westmoreland County and a proposed $460,000 cut in state funding.

Ron Eberhardt, vice president of administrative services, said the 2012-13 budget assumes enrollment stays level next year at about 6,960 students. Last month, trustees approved a $10 per-credit tuition increase and a $4 per-credit hike in the student technology fee.

The budget is now open for pubic comment before trustees approve a final spending plan at their June 27 meeting.

WCCC President Daniel Obara called next year’s budget “very challenging” and said he hopes there aren’t further funding cuts down the road. The school was able to absorb cuts for next year by finding savings in health care costs and not authorizing new positions for faculty, administrators or staff, he said.

“We pride ourselves in being efficient with the lowest costs per student,” Obara said.

The budget does include 3-percent pay increases for administrators, administrative staff, coaches, support staff and part-time employees. It also provides a 2.5-percent increase in the starting salary for new employees in those categories as well as student workers and others.

The school expects to end this fiscal year with nearly $4.2 million in operating fund reserves, Eberhardt said.

“The college has been fortunate to generally show a favorable result each fiscal year,” Eberhardt said. “This year we’re projecting to have a small loss. Generally that (reserve fund) is built up over the years.”

The board of trustees also approved a roughly $5.95 million capital budget that includes $722,900 from student activity funds and from school bookstore revenue, Eberhardt said. The capital budget covers debt service, leases, equipment and building renovations.


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